Last night Son#2 shared with the family a photo of Son#4 with four of his nieces crawling over him and added a cheeky caption. I won't share the caption (or photo) but it reminded me of a time several years ago when Son#4 was home from Uni and some of his friends had dropped in. I was babysitting The Most Adorable Granddaughter#3 who was just a baby then and had just put her to bed. I needed to pop out for half an hour or so and, without even a second thought, left her in Son#4's charge.
Apparently, after I left, the conversation with his friends went something like this (apologies in advance to Son#4 if I've misrepresented the conversation - something my family often accuses me of doing even though I try to stick to the facts as I remember them).
Friends, in disbelieve (perhaps even alarm): Did your mum just go out and leave you with a baby?
Son#4, unconcerned: Yep.
Friends, still obviously concerned: What if it wakes?
Son#4, still very much unconcerned: She won't wake.
And even if she had, Son#4 would have still been unconcerned and would have handled it.
I was struck at the time how much I take for granted how comfortable our younger sons are with their nieces and that those who hadn't been used to babies probably find it a little unnerving. I guess that's what comes from becoming an uncle at an early age.
Son#4 is still great with his nieces and since he is the only single uncle in town, probably rates as the favourite uncle most of the time. Until he marries, most likely.
Which, hopefully, isn't too far in the distant future.
Son#4, like his older brother and a sister-in-law, graduated with honours in engineering. His girlfriend is a nurse. (Have you spotted the pattern yet?)
Son#4 and his girlfriend's relationship is a beautiful story of love and healing. They "met" at the family celebration of my MIL's ninetieth birthday but they had known about each other long before that. A legal and binding family connection had been terminated before Son#4 had been born when DH's sister died of cancer at only twenty-two years of age. But legally termination isn't the same as heart termination and the families remained close and in contact. Now there's a possibility that there will be another legal and binding family connection.
Son#4 sought his grandmother's permission before pursuing his girlfriend ... something his grandmother deeply appreciated, as she tells anyone and everyone who will listen!
As I thought about this blog post, I went back to the original post where I introduced Son#4. Interestingly, he no longer reminds me so much of Son#2 but resembles more my father's side of the family. And I don't think he won the award for height in our family after all. I have a sneaking suspicion that Son#5 is a smidgen taller!
More to come ...